Skip to comments.The Biological Case Against Race
Posted on 06/04/2002 5:24:31 PM PDT by cornelis
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:^ 0 Ice cream everybody!!!!!
I was brought up in the "post-racist" world, and all my education, and those whom I looked up to, taught that there is no real difference based on color. I know this sounds frightful, but over the years I have come to feel that there are real differences between the races. I have based this on experience, and travel, and learning to recongise and respect difference. It is hard to say if these differences are the result of culture or race.
One consequence of modern reproductive technologies is that we will be able to determine if genetic material, on its own, can determine individual characteristics. Up until now, the only studies done on "acquired vs inherited" characteristics, have been done on identical twins seperated a birth (limited and unreliable studies.)
BTW - did you know that chimps and humans differ in their DNA by only 1.5%? We're about 98.5% identical! So, I guess we're really just the same as chimps! And we're really just the same as the gorillas and the spider monkeys as well. Heck, we're probably only about %5 different from a shark! We should make sharks citizens! Oh, wait, we already have lawyers, that's right.
What a seriously rank load of hogwash. I'm no genetic scientist but I can look at Africa and see just what happens when the Europeans who built cities on that continent leave those cities behind to the natives. Hmmm, some peoples build cities, some peoples tear them down. No, no difference between them at all. Then I look here at formerly great cities like Detroit, populated with people who have been American citizens for generations. Hmmm. What do these examples have in common?
This is a very serious case of the Emperor having no clothes whatsoever.
Culture and individual variation are the major determinants of behavior. Race is a strong self-association factor -- we grow up with our own race, we tend to hand around with our own race, hence cultural identity tends to break along racial groupings.
There ARE real differences, and there's nothing frightful about speaking the truth. Acknowledging that there are differences does not make one a "racist" any more than acknowledging that the differences between men and women aren't just "social constructs" makes one a "sexist". Some of the differences make people of different races generally better at/worse at specific functions of modern life, but there are such huge variations within each race, that this does not provide justification for different treatment of people of different races. It does, however, provide nullification of the concept that unequal results are necessarily the result of "discrimination" -- a concept which remains quite popular in our legal system.
Scientists don't "know" any such thing! This is merely wishful thinking - something that the Hudson Institute specializes in.
First, any student anatomist can identify a person's race by a variety of physical features. Forensic pathologists can often identify a person's race by a single tooth or a few bones.
Second, when it comes to genes, it is much more honest to say that based on the current state of knowledge scientists cannot identify a person's race by analyzing his genes. To point out that there is very little genetic diversity between humans of all races does not mean there aren't meaningful differences between the races. Sometimes, a single genetic defect can make a HUGE difference in a person's wellbeing. Or, look at it this way: Chimps and humans share over 98% of their genetic makeup. Clearly, that 2% makes a LOT of difference.
What bothers me most about this pseudo-scientific hokum that tries to say there are no differences between the races is that it begs the question: Why the disparity in behavior and outcomes? If we are all the same, then why do blacks - 13% of the population - make up only 2% of corporate executives and commit 50% of the crime? Why has black student achievement lagged that of whites at the same rate for nearly 30 years - ever since the government has measured it - despite $billions of government money? If we are all the same - THEN WHITE PEOPLE MUST BE RACIST OPPRESSORS WHO WILL NOT/CANNOT CHANGE. If you were black and believed that the only reason you were not doing as well as whites was because they have been keeping you down for hundreds of years and show no sign of every stopping, how long would YOU put up with this situation?
The core ideological principle that maintains racism is the mistaken belief thatI donno ... Most people have always assumed that #1 is true, but I never believed in #2. I don't see why the two propositions have to go together.
 biological races really exist in the human species and that
 individual aspects of character and morality can be identified by one's racial ancestry.
I would put forth that most "racial" variations of behavior are more due to cultural influences than genetic.
LOL, what a coincidence! That's what the author claims in his book! You are a whiz.
Well, you would be wrong.
Twin studies show that genetics accounts for 97% of variability in fingerprints (duh!); 70% of IQ, 50% of sexual behavior, 50% of criminal activity and 40% of social attitudes.
Average IQ level of blacks is 15 points lower than whites. Average testosterone levels are 10-20% higher in college-age black males than whites. IQ and testosterone levels are key ingredients in behavior among young males.
I agree completely. It isn't about despising anyone. In fact many racial/or cultural characteristics are about being adjusted to ones way of life and environment. But I think that it should make Western law-givers, in aid agencies and the UN etc., a bit less confident about telling various nations that they should get rid of this or that "repressive" social restriction. Maybe they should, but it is up to them to work it out. And maybe they shouldn't, because sometimes things which appear harsh to us in fact serve a useful function within a different society.
While there are no Shaqs from the Phillipines and no Einsteins from South Africa, there are Thomas Sowells and Michelle Kwans and multitudes of gifted people of all colors who can only be sorted through the give and take of free societies. And who decides what is smart or athletic, the criteria change continuously? The oldest bloodlines come out of Africa, according to Cavalli Sforza (who is big in the anti-race debate). Yet, given that datum how stupid could Shaq be making as much in a year as most make in a few lifetimes?
So, the question is not whether there are differences, but what you would do about it if there were. And bluntly, you'd do nothing but let people attain their own levels. So, I believe the above article is a feel-good sham, but the truth wouldn't change anything anyway, we all have to get up in the morning and go to work. I just wish I worked for the Lakers.
What a utterly hopeless mess of a book - ten years from now he will have to write a complete retraction.
Those same twin studies "prove" a genetic link to homosexuality. I question the twin studies that indicate such things, because the famous ones are based on severely flawed models.
Average IQ level of blacks is 15 points lower than whites.
The Stanford-Binet test does presuppose some cultural knowledge. Once you correct for socioeconomic factors, that 15-point gap vanishes to within the MOE.
Average testosterone levels are 10-20% higher in college-age black males than whites.
What was the sample pool for this study? How many blacks versus whites in college are "juicing up" with steroids to compete in sports?
IQ and testosterone levels are key ingredients in behavior among young males.
True enough. However, what factors outside of genetics influence these ingredients?
I wonder how athletic the Masai are rated...their manhood ritual consists of hunting a lion with a spear. Now THAT is sport!
Funny Place!! Where's that sign? "We Hire the Handicapped!"??
Ok - first of all he presents some analysis of statistics that show that the DNA diversity between human races is less than that what biologists use to define races or subspecies. Fine, by that definition, humanity is one race. By that definition, fine -- so what?
From this he determines that the assumption that there is significant biological variation amongst groups of humans is false, and that racial categories are socially constructed. Baloney. One example that comes to mind is the difference between East and West African runners. One strong in the sprints, the other in long distances. Or I look at the big men in the NBA - a higher percentage of blacks than in the general population, even though I am one of thousands of white men who would have given our eye tooth to be there, but I'm too short and suffer from white man's disease: white men can't jump.
He goes on to deduce that it's just recent history and racial myth. And he equates thinking to the contrary with racial supremists, such as those who might think that Europeans stand at the pinnacle of perfection, using such thinking to make it legitimate to declare the African slave as chattel. Well, since no person would admit in this day and age to such racist thinking, the contrary position must be right -- that there are no statistically significant biological differences as a group. Baloney. There are clearly such differences, just not large enough to pass the threshold for a separate subspecies.
One way I like to put the point is thus. Say I task you with forming a winning basketball team, and I say you have a choice of two players, one black and one white. I refuse to tell you anything else about these two. In such a case, your best bet would be to pick the black player. Now it might turn out that the black player was Colin Powell, and the white player was Larry Bird. In which case you made the wrong choice, for lack of sufficient information. But given what information you had, you did the right thing.
From all these false arguments, he goes on to determine that racism can be easily deconstructed -- it's just a social disease. But he has changed the topic here entirely.
Racism is unfairly prejudging someone on basis of their race. Any competent basketball team wouldn't ask who's black and pick them, sight unseen. They would find out how well they had played, and how well they could play now. And Larry Bird would beat Colin Powell for such a position everytime, as easily as Tiger Woods would beat me at golf, or I would beat Tiger at computer programming.
However he is not taking racism as this, but rather taking it as any making of statistically significant differences between the human races, which he is saying is just a social confusion which we can easily deconstruct.
I'm not sure where he is going with these confusions, but they can't possibly serve us well.
I think the 15-point gap is pretty consistent over all the common IQ tests.
Animosity demonstrated here against this simple observation is very irrational.
What's y'all's problem?
I reckon they's not likin' it.
OK. So a rose is a rose by any other name. Darwin, what a genius.
As I have stated before: if you take, A Pygmy and an Eskimo, and add, walk into a bar you got the beginnings of a pretty good joke.
The punch line is Evolution
Yet not raced based.
It is based on proximity to malarial areas. Thus there are Asian populations prone to it and African populations not.
Just because two groups overlap doesn't mean that they don't have statistically significant differences. You present a paper tiger, to what purpose I know not, but not to one I trust.
Good grief! The Europeans really like soccer!
Yes, possible. But not demonstrated biologically. Your proposition is excellent and experimentally it is shown to not be the case.
I am curious as to why you are hostile to something very simple and obvious?
It must be defeated, over and over again.